LISTENERS to BBC Radio 4 on October 15th 1998 would have heard the Cumbrian-inflected voice of Melvyn Bragg introduce a new programme without much fanfare.
He welcomed those tuned in to a series “in which I hope we’ll be looking at some of the ideas and events which have influenced the century”.In that first episode of “In Our Time”, two academics soberly discussed the wars of the past 100 years. Since then, the show has explored more than 800 subjects, such as the 18th-century gin craze, Agrippina the Younger and the mathematical constant
“In Our Time” has the feel of a university seminar, with some of academia’s brightest—Mary Beard and Marcus du Sautoy are regular contributors—taking 45 minutes each week to discuss a topic, live and unedited.
The programme’s return again on September 2018 and continues its marathon run into a 21st year.
For the BBC, “In Our Time” is not just part of the furniture but a load-bearing pillar, propping up the corporation’s occasionally wayward efforts to enlighten the public.